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's argument had "injured us more, and has been as great a barrier to our emancipation as any thing that has ever been advanced against us," for it had " sunk deep into the hearts of millions of the whites, and never will be removed this side of eternity." so, the ideal of equality jefferson proclaimed, he also betrayed. he got it right when he wrote about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." as the core of our human aspirations. but he lived it wrong, denying to others the rights he claimed for himself. and that's how jefferson came to embody the oldest and longest war of all -- the war between the self and the truth, between what we know and how we live. so enjoy the fireworks and flags, the barbecues and bargain sales. but hold this thought as well -- that behind this fourth of july holiday are human beings who were as flawed and conflicted as they were inspired. if they were to look upon us today they most likely would think as they did then, how much remains to be done. with those contradictions of american history in mind, this seemed a good time to talk with khalil gibran muh
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